Temiscaming, Quebec, Canada, 26 January 2009 – Tembec today announced a series of market-related shutdowns affecting one of its Canadian pulp mills, and three pulp mills in France. The shutdowns, ranging from two weeks to an indefinite idling, are a direct response to the global economic slowdown and the related effect on packaging and other pulp-consuming products.
In Canada, the high-yield pulp mill located in Matane, Quebec, which was expected to restart on 31 January, will remain idled indefinitely. This extended shutdown will affect approximately 120 people.
In France, the paper pulp mills in Tarascon and Saint-Gaudens will each take four-week shutdowns starting 08 February, and the specialty pulp mill in Tartas will begin a two-week shut on 15 February. The Saint-Gaudens and Tarascon mills together employ roughly 550 people, and the Tartas mill, approximately 300.
Unlike earlier temporary shutdowns, these will affect both staff and hourly personnel. Employees at all affected sites have been informed of the company’s decision.
“The aggressive actions announced today follow a review of current and foreseen market conditions. We have made the decision to respond in a manner that represents the best approach to minimizing losses, managing cash, and reducing inventories,” said Jim Lopez, president and chief executive officer. “We will obviously continue to monitor market conditions closely and will manage operating rates accordingly.”
The hardwood high yield pulp mill in Matane produces 250,000 metric tons annually. The Tarascon softwood kraft mill and the Saint-Gaudens hardwood kraft mill produce, respectively 260,000 and 305,000 metric tons of pulp per year. The Tartas speciality cellulose mill has an annual capacity of 155,000 metric tons.
Tembec is a large, diversified and integrated forest products company and global leader in sustainable forest management practices. With operations principally located in North America and in France, the company employs approximately 7000 people. Tembec’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TMB and warrants under TMB.WT. Additional information on Tembec is available at www.tembec.com.